Castle Leoch - The MacKenzies Outlander

Bannocks at Castle Leoch - Outlander on STARZ Episode 102

I can't imagine the men of Clan MacKenzie were belting out the last chorus of the road trip favourite 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall as they rode the final stretch into Castle Leoch at the end of last week's premiere episode of Outlander on STARZ.

It was a long couple of days -- our Highlanders skirmished with multiple groups of Redcoats, rode all night through forest and glen, and, along the way, picked up a bewildered, bewildering and bossy Englishwoman wearing nothing but her mud-encrusted underclothes and a very sturdy-looking pair of loafers.

I bet even smart-mouth Angus is a little shell shocked and reduced to nothing but the occasional grunt of discomfort.

Glenna Fitzgibbons

Thankfully, Mistress Glenna Fitzgibbons will be in Leoch's keep this Saturday to welcome the men off their horses and direct them to the kitchens for bannocks and ale.

Next, she'll turn her welcoming attentions to Claire. I've always wondered what Mrs. Fitz thought of Claire and her out-of-this-world undergarments. She certainly never said anything in the book while escorting her new and unexpected guest to a bed chamber, but Glenna may be more forthcoming on screen.

At the very least, she'll leave Claire with a plate of bannocks and a bowl of broth.

Bannocks - Leoch Feast

Mrs. Fitz will be back after Claire has a bit of rest, probably with a fresh batch of bannocks, a flask of wine and an ensemble suitable for an 18th Century lady of gentle birth.

And finally, at the end of a long day spent coming to terms with time travel, uninsulated castles, questions to which there are no rational answers, and a corset that's got to have a long adjustment period, Claire will find herself at the Laird's table for a supper of bannocks and meat, washed down with a few glasses of lip-loosening Rhenish.


Are there really going to be that many bannocks in one hour of television?  I hope not.

In reality, bannocks (and/or their close cousin, the oatcake), would have been on the table at every meal, and you would have always found a plate of them keeping warm near the edge of the cooking hearth all day long.


Traditional bannocks from Mrs Fitz's kitchens were dense round cakes of oat and/or barley flour, animal fat and water/milk,cooked on a griddle pan, or girdle. The cakes were split into 8 equal wedges (farls) and consumed, for the most part, while still warm.

I looked at 1,538 recipes for bannocks while researching this post. Most modern recipes incorporate wheat flour and use butter instead of baking fat. Many call for buttermilk to tenderize the dough, but I chose yogurt to do the same thing for a couple of reasons: 1) I've found more OK readers have yogurt in their fridge than buttermilk.  2) The Recipe Index already has a few recipes that use buttermilk, and I like to mix things up.

I cut my bannocks into rectangles because that's what this verra practical bannock baker in Shetland does. Roll the dough into a square, cut 12 rectangular bannocks and bake. There's no scraps to re-roll -- easy peasy, fresh and squeezy.

They also make a nice presentation for your Epsiode 102: Castle Leoch Snack Plate. Two bannocks, warm from the oven, with butter, wedges of blue and aged cheddar cheese, strawberry jam, and of course, a glass of your favourite Rhenish.

Gun còrd an dealbh ruibh! (Enjoy the show!)


Show/Hide Comments


13 Aug 2014 - 1:12pm


I am so making these for Saturday! Looks great! Thank you!


Awesome! Dinna forget the cheese to go with them!

13 Aug 2014 - 1:23pm


You looked at 1500 recipes .... girl. That's Diana levels of research. *slow claps* Can I spoiler something for you? You were right to make them rectangular (that's how they are in ep2!!) And that cheese plate looks amazing.


I may have exaggerated just a wee bit...

13 Aug 2014 - 1:36pm

Mary Boyd

This is a wonderful write-up. I get so hooked in to FB that I often forget to read your website--which is "verra good."

13 Aug 2014 - 4:08pm

Claudia Barry

Making food that goes along with the next episode of Outlander makes a brilliant show even brighter and has hooked my husband into the series! Thanks for your great recipes and he's already looking forward to bannocks Saturday night!

13 Aug 2014 - 7:00pm

Mary Miller

Just found you during my lunch break, your recipes sound WAAY better than what I just had. And thank you for deciphering just "what" these foods are, I confess I was at a loss! I have greedily devoured all the books, and now I get to devour their dishes as well, how fun is that?!?


Welcome to our virtual hearth, Mary! Pull up a stool, I'll grab ye a plate of bannocks. :)

13 Aug 2014 - 7:21pm

Shelia Penzell

Bloody brilliant!

13 Aug 2014 - 7:27pm


What's your favorite Rhenish??


We actually don't drink a lot of wine around here, but the one pictured is the same pale pink as Colum's recipe, which is why I chose it. It's from our small island's winery, Sea Star Vineyards, and it's call Blanc de Noir. It's my current favourite.


We actually don't drink a lot of wine around here, but the one pictured is the same pale pink as Colum's recipe, which is why I chose it. It's from our small island's winery, Sea Star Vineyards, and it's call Blanc de Noir. It's my current favourite.

13 Aug 2014 - 7:28pm


Is the addition of the oats that makes this different than scones, then?


No. These bannocks are basically less sweet and less rich than scones. If you look at , you'll see what I mean.

13 Aug 2014 - 7:28pm

Sigrid Tranter

In shall make these in time for the next Episode. My Husband will be even more hooked on Outlander .


The best way to a man is through his stomach...and with a really good book. ;)

13 Aug 2014 - 7:29pm


Won't it be fun to make these, put on some plaid and eat with Jamie and Claire. Thanks so much for your efforts!

13 Aug 2014 - 7:34pm

Carol Lang

Hi Theresa. Love your excellent blog and the recipes (especially the rhennish experiment account)! I'm an Outlander fan and have been following you since researching Scottish recipes earlier this year. Since my heritage is Irish I've always used my maternal grandmother's bannock recipe. To keep it authentic I'm making and sharing your Scottish bannock recipe with some cheese during Saturday's episode. Indeed, 'twill doubtless be a verra good thing!


I`m honoured that my recipe will take the place of your prized family one, Carol, if only for one night. ;)

13 Aug 2014 - 7:53pm

Ethel Jack

Sounds like a verra good plan. Must try these Saturday....thanks for the recipe AND the hints!

13 Aug 2014 - 8:01pm

Jim Vandegriff

I'll make these for Saturday night, and accompany them with 2002 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr riesling auslese our prime selection of Rhenish wine.

Jim Vandegriff

I just made the bannocks. They are truly yummy! Thanks.

13 Aug 2014 - 8:04pm

christina gray

Thanks for the yummy recipe! I think I will try it with the yogurt and also with buttermilk. I've just discovered your website! I'm eager to keep up with it!

13 Aug 2014 - 8:23pm


Yes, Anne -- I linked to my , which uses oat flour and barley. nnThe other option, which I highly recommend, is my recipe for , which is wheat free and INSANELY DELICIOUS. nnAlso have a look at the -- where you'll find a whole section of gluten-free recipes to try. :)


Be careful with the barley, celiacs tend to be intolerant of that too. I agree with Molly though the Bob's RedMill are an awesome replacement

13 Aug 2014 - 8:25pm


Sounds great! I hope he enjoys them!

13 Aug 2014 - 8:26pm


Let me know how they turn out, Carla!

13 Aug 2014 - 8:26pm


Wonderful, Dixie! Send me pics if you to see them!

13 Aug 2014 - 8:27pm


Scones and bannocks (and oatcakes, for that matter) are very close on the baked-good family tree. :)

13 Aug 2014 - 8:30pm


the vegan butter and soy milk should work nicely! For the yogurt, use about 1/4 Cup more soy milk, mixed with 1 Tble of lemon juice.

13 Aug 2014 - 8:33pm


The updated bannock recipe is very nice... But could someone sleuth out an *old* recipe? (presumably a recipe without modern wheat, yogurt, etc? )


Did you read the whole post and recipe, Chantal? I linked to my recipe for an *old* or traditional oat/barley bannock recipe at least twice. I thought it was pretty clear, but here it is again:

13 Aug 2014 - 9:39pm


Are these kind of like scones?


They are a less-rich scone...less butter and cream in a bannock. :)

13 Aug 2014 - 10:06pm


Making scottish stout stew for dinner and needed something to go with it. These sound PERFECT!! Can't wait to try them;)

13 Aug 2014 - 10:41pm


I REALLY want to make these, but I'm broke and need to use what I have on hand - which is everything except the yogurt. I do have a vanilla bean yogurt - would that be a horrid substitution?


I'm a big fan of using what you have, Elle! Use the vanilla bean yogurt -- I would probably add an extra tablespoon or two of sugar to the dough, to make them a sweeter bannock. Then the vanilla flavour won't be out of place. Serve them with fruit and a tea or wine.


I made the bannocks with the vanilla bean yogurt and extra sugar as you suggested. This was the first time I've made anything like this. My kitchen was a complete mess by the time I finished - flour everywhere! But - they turned out really well! And I have leftovers for this week! Thanks so much!

13 Aug 2014 - 11:16pm

Pat Alzady

Would you find sour milk an acceptable alternative to the yogurt or buttermilk?


Yes, that will work! I would start with 1/3 cup soured milk, then add more if needed.


Soured, or clabbered, milk with lemon juice or vinegar stirred in. It's a good substitute for buttermilk, and is being used by a few here in place of the yogurt.


If I wanted to use buttermilk and not yogurt and milk what would the amount be?


I would start with a 1/4 Cup, and increase as needed to get a slightly sticky dough.

Add new comment